James Croft has moved Temple of the Future over to Patheos. It’s good to see him get some more attention. It’s even better to see him dealing directly with those who are working to preserve their religious privilege. He doesn’t spend a lot of patience on them.
To a fellow Patheos blogger suggesting that Christians are persecuted because they may be mocked:
“Many Christans I know are afraid to admit their faith becoz they will be mocked with the hostility modelled by e.g. Dawkins”
Mockery of ideas, even hostility, by an author in a popular book, is clearly not the same as persecution and hatred. In a free society ideas must be open to stringent, hostile, mocking critique by those who disagree. On occasion forms of mockery and hostility can constitute persecution or may be driven by hatred, but merely fearing your belief might be ridiculed is not the same as being subject to hatred. To equate mockery and hatred is to diminish the notion of hatred to a dangerous degree: Matthew Shepard’s brutal murder was hatred. The God Delusion is not.
To the same Patheos blogger suggesting that coming out as evangelical was analogous to coming out as homosexual:
I am tempted to respond to with a simple “no”. And, perhaps, “don’t be silly”. It’s an absurd and insulting suggestion, frankly.
When I walk down the street holding my boyfriend’s hand I am not worried that someone will write a strongly-worded article mocking my choice in partner – I am afraid that someone will shout vile epithets, follow us with violent abuse, attack us, kill us.
When gay people come out at work, in much of the world, they aren’t so bothered at finding a offensive cartoon depicting them in the local newspaper. They are much more afraid of being dismissed summarily from their position just because they are gay (which can still happen in many US states).
When kids come out to conservative parents they may not be so concerned with their response being incredulity and bafflement – they are terrified of being disavowed, being thrown onto the street being beaten up, their bones and teeth broken.
As much as I enjoy debating nuance with James, I’m enjoying the unequivocal statements from him right now. Kudos to James for finding a great way to re-energize his blogging.